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    Guadalcanal Province  Solomon Islands

Location
Guadalcanal Province is border to the north by Iron Bottom Sound and the Central Province including Savo Island, Florida Island Group and Tulagi. To the northeast is the Indispensable Strait and Malaita Province. To the south is the Solomon Sea and southeast is Makira-Ulawa Province including San Cristobal (Makira). Guadalcanal Island is

Prewar
Guadalcanal Island is a rectangular shaped island that is part of the Solomon Islands chain. Guadalcanal has an area of 2,047 square miles with the highest elevation being Mount Popomanaseu at 7,661'. The local name for the island is Isatabu. Discovered by Spanish explorer Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira who named the island Guadalcanal after a crewmember Pedro de Ortega Valencia's hometown of Guadalcanal, Province of Seville, Spain. During the 1800-1900s, European settlers and missionaries arrived on Guadalcanal and in 1893, the United Kingtom declared Guadalcanal part of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate (BSIP).

Wartime History
On July 5, 1942, Japanese Army forces landed at Renandi and began developing Lunga Point Airfield (Henderson Field) as a forward airfield to menace the shipping lanes to Australia and New Zealand. On August 7, 1942, the UY. S. Marine Corps (USMC) 1st Marine Division made an amphibious landing at Red Beach, prior to the airfield becoming operational. Guadalcanal then became a pivotal piece of island real estate that both sides wanted to control, and were willing to commit larger forces of soldiers and materials over the months following the Marine landing. US Army reinforcements landed, while the Japanese attempted to supply their forces by night via the "Tokyo Express" down the Slot of the Solomon islands. After the island was secured, pockets of sporadic Japanese resistance remained. The island became a rear base and staging area. The last Japanese holdout surrendered on October 27, 1947. Munitions and occasional war wrecks are still discovered to this day.

Today
Guadalcanal probably contains the most historical sites, battlefields and relics of any island in the Pacific. The graveyard for aviators, soldiers and sailors lost by both sides during the six months of the Guadalcanal campaign. It was this single island, and its airfield, that was the focal point of the six month Guadalcanal campaign, and a turning point in the Pacific war. After the fighting ceased, it was a major staging base and training ground for future Allied operations.

    Marine Perimeter
  Capital of the Solomons
  Lunga River near Henderson Field
  Site of initial USMC landing August 7, 1942
  Located on the north coast of Guadalcanal
  Site of initial USMC landing August 7, 1942
 River at western edge of perimeter
  SDA School with WWII relics on display
  Site of initial Japanese landing
  Located near Matanikau, site of US Memorial
    Guadalcanal Airfields
  Built by the Japanese, expanded still in use today
  Fighter 2 (Kukum) Airstrip and base area
  Fighter 2 (Kukum) Airstrip and base area
  Fighter 2 (Kukum) Airstrip and base area
  Emergency strip between Carney and Koli
  (Bomber 2) Koli Point, near Metapona River
  Crash strip between Carney and Koli
  (Bomber 3) near Metapona River
    Battlefield Areas Guadalcanal
 "Raider Ridge" attack September 12-14, 1942
  Dominant feature of Bloody Ridge, memorial
  Located at the southern end of the Bloody Ridge
 South-west of Bloody Ridge and crash strip
 (Ilu, Alligator) Repulsed Japanese attack
 Mountain overlooking Honiara area
 Defensive positions between Hills 31 and 27
  Located at "The Gifu" battle site and memorial
  Near Mount Austen, Japanese memorial
  Located Point Cruz, American Memorial
 Battlefield area, Hill 43, Hill 44

 'Thin Red Line' Exton and Sims ridges

    Eastern Guadalcanal
  Located on the northern coast, AMTRAC dump
  Located on the northern coast of Guadalcanal
  Located west of Taivu Point
  Prewar Catholic mission, executions
  Fifteen miles inland from the coast
  Carney Field, Crash Strip & Koli Fields
    Western Guadalcanal
 Floating crane, plaque at Tanganai Church
 River on the coast west of Kokumbona
  Japanese landing on August 18, 1942
  Liberated January 30, 1943
  Cove and village west of Honiara
 Vilu War Museum
   Cape Esperence Area
 Tokyo Express landing area Visale & Veuru
 Visale Catholic Mission
 Visale Catholic Mission
 Village located near Cape Esperence
 Japanese mini-sub base  I-1 wreckage
 Village where US Army linked up Feb 9, 1943
 Village to the south-west of Cape Esperence
    Islands and Water Bodies
 Naval battles during Guadalcanal campaign

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Last Updated
April 23, 2016

 

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